TRADE students will start their study break early as a south-west training institute cancels classes to give staff time to prepare for further coronavirus scenarios in coming weeks.
The state government ruled TAFEs would remain open this week, amid its sweeping measures to start public school holidays on Tuesday.
But South West TAFE chief Mark Fidge asked students to complete their assessments and attend holidays early this week while the training provider remained open without teaching classes.
"This week and the next two weeks we have every opportunity to look at online and flexible delivery options and prepare ourselves for post April 14 if there was a decision we shouldn't be open for classes," Mr Fidge said.
"I'm pleased this is what has been put int place, it provides us with the opportunity to look at how we are operating."
He said attendance numbers had reduced over the past week, but the cancelled classes would still affect "the majority" of students.
TAFE currently has about 2500 government-funded enrolments.
Mr Fidge said coronavirus restrictions differed between workplaces and sectors and this had become "problematic" for a number of students doing practical placements, particularly in aged care.
"Students going into places of employment is something we are managing on a day-to-day basis, and if businesses shut down it's not that easy to get practical placements for the students," he said.
Students going into places of employment is something we are managing on a day-to-day basisMark Fidge
"As we go forward that's becoming more and more problematic.
"We have just under 500 students who are impacted by changes to practical placements.
"However we have been working to come up with alternative arrangements to ensure they complete this necessary component at some point in the year.
Mr Fidge said some of the region's healthcare providers had also approached TAFE seeking potential workers.
"It's not part of the course, but we are being approached to see if we have students completing their studies and who can assist," he said.
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